Thunder Bay

Water problem plagues NW Ontario First Nation

People in Neskantaga First Nation want to know what's making their skin break out in a rash. For the last three months, several people in the community north of Geraldton have reported to the nursing station with an itchy, red skin irritation and open sores.

Neskantaga First Nation has been asking for help to improve the water since 1997

People in Neskantaga First Nation have been under a boil water advisory for more than a decade. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

People in Neskantaga First Nation want to know what's making their skin break out in a rash. For the last three months, several residents of the community north of Geraldton have reported to the nursing station with an itchy, red skin irritation and open sores.

Chief Peter Moonias said it’s related to the community's water supply.

"People take showers, bathing and all that and our water — the system that we have — is not circulating," he said.

"There's dead ends where the chlorine is not really effective."

Moonias said the First Nation has been asking for help to improve the water since 1997. But a boil-water advisory continues to this day, and Moonias said he’s tired of getting the run-around about the bad water in his community.

He noted that the federal government needs to ensure basic human rights, such as clean water, are provided in his community.

CBC has contacted Health Canada about this story and is awaiting a response.

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